This collection represents 490 envelopes printed or embossed with caricatures, allegories, slogans, portraits, etc. relating to Civil War events.
This collection represents 490 civil war envelopes. Measuring approximately 3 x 5 1/2 inches, they are printed or embossed with caricatures, allegories, slogans, portraits, etc. relating to Civil War events and personalities. The vast majority is Union-oriented; most were produced by New York printers ca. 1861-65. Some are quite crude; others are beautifully designed and executed, many in color, some gilt.
Some envelopes show portraits or caricatures of politicians, for example, of George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Benjamin Franklin, or Abraham Lincoln. State seals figure prominently, as do flags. Other significant topics in the collection are animals (especially the eagle), liberty, soldiers, sailors, and Uncle Sam. A significant New York printer, Charles Magnus, is represented by thirty-six envelopes, many showing Civil War camp scenes derived from photographs.